A proposal to establish a campsite reservation system at Voyageurs National Park will be the topic up for discussion next week in Minnesota.
This is the final year of a three-year civic engagement discussion to determine if Voyageurs should move to a reservation system. Discussions set for Monday the 7th and Thursday the 10th will include charging for campsite and houseboat site use by night to ensure future maintenance and upkeep of the sites.
“We believe we have come up with the best formula to maintain the sites while passing on a low cost to the user. Now it is time to discuss it with park neighbors and users and get their opinion of whether we should implement it or not," said Superintendent Mike Ward.
In discussions with communities alongside the park, there have been many who feel the park should charge for sites and offer reservations so as to bring new users to the area. Many new users will not consider camping in Voyageurs without a reservation system, especially since it is a 100 percent boat-in park. All sites are currently first-come, first-served.
To see how farflung the campsites are in the park's backcountry, check out this topographic map with campsites marked.
Monday's public meeting is set to run from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Crane Lake Fire Department/Hall on 7400 Handberg Road in Crane Lake, Minnesota.
Thursday's meeting is set to run from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Lake Superior College, 2101 Trinity Road in Duluth, Minnesota.
Along with taking comment from anyone who shows up for the meetings, park officials have set up a phone number (218-283-6708) for the public to call and be able to express their concerns or support for the reservations and costs for campsites.